1 August 2017Trademarks

Food fight enters court as lawyers file pre-emptive strike

Several lawyers in Edwardsville, Pennsylvania have joined together to file a pre-emptive lawsuit against the organisers of a food festival in Indiana that allegedly threatened to sue another culinary event in the Pennsylvania town.

The case centres around the Pierogi Festival in Edwardsville and the Whiting Pierogi Fest in Whiting, Indiana.

Both festivals aim to celebrate Eastern European ancestry as the areas have a large east European population.

The Whiting Pierogi Fest wants the Pennsylvania street festival to change its name, or begin paying royalties.

The organisers of the Indiana event own US trademark number 3476218 for the ‘Pierogi Fest’ mark, which was first used in commerce in 2008.

It was registered for “entertainment services in the nature of organising and promoting an annual festival and parade that emphasises Polish ethnicity”.

However, as reported by Pennsylvania newspaper CitizensVoice, the Edwardsville lawyers say the 700-mile distance between the two festivals means they are not competitors.

One of the lawyers, James Haggerty, also told the newspaper: “There is no consumer confusion. There is nobody on planet Earth who is going to confuse the Edwardsville Pierogi Festival with the suburban Chicago ‘Pierogi Fest’.”

Whiting sits on the border between Indiana and Illinois, where Chicago is based.

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